Membership in the Inn

Members in this Inn must be attorneys who practice in Sarasota County, judges of courts serving this county, or law professors and law students from Stetson University College of Law. Membership is open to all qualified persons, regardless of race, color, sex, age, religion, or national origin. The Inn aspires to reflect a cross section of the legal profession and the judiciary so that no law firm or specialty is disproportionately represented.

Although our charter originally limited membership of the Inn to 65 active members, we are now authorized to have a maximum of 80 active members. The Executive Committee has established the maximum number of members in each category as: Masters, 28; Barristers, 32; Associates, 16 and Pupils, 4.

Apply here: New Member Application 2023-2024

Membership Classifications

Membership is divided into the following categories:

  • Masters are lawyers of outstanding reputation with over 12 years at the bar, judges of courts that serve this area, or law professors. Masters who participate regularly are eligible for annual renewal of their memberships.
  • Barristers are lawyers with from 5 to 12 years at the bar and are elected to serve three-year terms.
  • Associates are lawyers with less than 5 years at the bar and are elected to serve two-year terms.
  • Pupils are senior law students from Stetson College of Law who intend to practice law in Sarasota County. Pupils serve a one-year term.

In addition to the authorized membership of 80, a Master-Emeritus may be elected by a two-thirds vote of masters in attendance at a special meeting called for that purpose. To be nominated as a Master-Emeritus, a member must have rendered distinguished service to the bench, bar, and this Inn and have served as a Member in this Inn for at least three years. An exception may be made for a master entering the judiciary away from the Sarasota area.

Honorary members may be elected upon nomination by the Executive Committee upon two-thirds affirmative vote of the Masters. To be eligible for honorary membership, a person should have rendered distinguished service to the legal community as a lawyer or judge.


In March, the membership chair determines which members wish to continue in the Inn and presents to the Executive Committee the names of those who have applied to be members or have been recommended for membership. The academic master or masters nominate four senior law students to become pupils for the coming year.

All nominations are presented to the Executive Committee for consideration in April. Invitations to membership must be approved by the Committee and shall not exceed the maximum number permitted for each classification of membership. The President or the Membership Chair customarily invites new members on behalf of the Inn.